Mathew Joseph Belongia

Mathew "Matt" J. Belongia, 89, of Willow Springs, MO, died peacefully at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO, with family by his side on Monday, October 30, 2023. He was born on June 26, 1934, in the Town of Chili in Clark County, WI, to Fred and Clara (DeGrand) Belongia.
Matt served in the US Air Force, as a mechanic in the 28th Transportation Squad, from 1955 to 1958, where he ranked first in his class. Then he was in the Reserves until his honorable discharge in 1963. In that time, Matt was stationed in the Philippines. He enjoyed playing on the military football team while stationed there, and later in life he would light up when showing the family his Philippines slide show and telling all his stories from his time there. After returning from overseas, Matt was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota until 1958, when he moved back home to Wisconsin. On May 19, 1984, Matt married the love of his life, Kathleen E. (Lynch) Belongia, at Madison Gospel Tabernacle (now City Church) in Madison, WI. Matt used the skills he gained as a mechanic in the Air Force to create a career as a high-quality, much sought-after Shop Foreman in Wisconsin. Most recently, Matt enjoyed offering his expertise to Kayser Ford in Madison, WI, before retiring to Willow Springs, MO, in 2009, at 75 years of age. He moved to Missouri because it was a centralized location for his children and grandchildren, and because he wanted to help people do things that they couldn't do themselves. He served his community with such a giving and compassionate heart, helping those who didn't have the means to help themselves. He built additions on houses, helped with repairs, and helped those in need within the community build their lives back up. Matt was unwavering in his faith in God, always trusting Him to provide every need. He served others out of his love for God, always seeking to honor Him with his actions.
Matt is preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Clara Belongia; 5 brothers: Emerson, Myron, Clayton, James "Jimmy,", and Alden "Al" Belongia; 2 sisters: Roseann (and James) Beranek, and Sr. Patricia Belongia, SSM; his stepson, Michael O. Green; and his great-grandchild, Zaydon Smith.
Matt is survived by his wife of 39 years, Kathleen E. Belongia; 4 children: Deborah "Debbie" Henke, Eric Belongia, Kristol Unterseher, and Stephanie Herrema; and 2 siblings: Veronica "Toots" (and Darrell) Davidson, and Sr. Catherine Marie Belongia, SSM. Matt is further survived by 9 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
A memorial service will be held at Willow Funeral Home, LLC in Willow Springs, MO, on Monday, November 6, at 10 A.M., followed by a military-honored burial at Willow Springs City Cemetery on DD Highway. Arrangements are under the direction of Willow Funeral Home, LLC.
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